The door creaked slowly closed behind her and shut with a thud. Mira outwardly cringed at the sound, hoping it didn’t wake anyone else in the castle.
She made her way up the winding staircase, tiptoeing as she went, although there was probably no need. It was well past midnight; everyone was asleep–Mother and Father and Gideon. The royal guard didn’t make their way to this part of the castle. It was deep in the heart of the fortress. If anything needed defending it was the surrounding walls.
Her father forbade her from going up to the tower. She had been here thrice before and had returned weeping and shaken each time. But she was obsessed. She had to see the mirror just once more.
As she reached the top landing, Mira closed her eyes and silently prayed the door would open and that Father hadn’t attempted to re-enforce it like he had the door at the bottom of the staircase (although it was somewhat comical how easily Mira was able to pick the lock–a trick Gideon had been teaching her).
Mira breathed a sigh of relief when she felt the doorknob twist and the door pull open.
The mirror was in front of her on an oak table, with a single chair placed in front of it. Mira sat down hurriedly. She stared intensely at the black surface and wished it would come to life. She uttered the words, Awaken, and the black surface turned white and then blue.
The faces were there staring back at her–the ones she had been longing to see. This had become her one escape in the castle. With the war, none of the royal children (just Mira now) were allowed to leave. They had to be protected and remain inside. That meant boredom for Mira but peace-of-mind for her parents.
Gideon had been her only friend within the castle walls. His father was the head of the guard, but being the same age as Mira (almost 14), he hadn’t yet begun his training to join the soldiers.
Mira stared into the faces staring back at her. She grabbed the small ball to her right and used it to guide the mirror where she wanted it to go. She moved away from the faces to more, each seemingly happier than the rest. The girls were beautiful. Shiny, straight hair, rosy cheeks, colored eyelids and fancy clothes. Behind each of them was beautiful scenery: a beach, a mountain, some historical monument and more.
The words that accompanied the images flew across Mira’s eyes.
“On an adventure…”
“Don’t you wish you were here?!”
Mira’s eyes started to burn. She fought back the tears. Why did she have to torture herself like this?
This mirror didn’t just reflect Mira’s face, as most mirrors did; it showed her what she was missing out on in the world. The people Mira watched in the mirror seemed to have it all–friends, family, adventure, wealth, status. As a princess, shouldn’t Mira be experiencing all of this, too, instead of being locked up in this wretched castle.
She knew Mother and Father did it to protect her, but it was destroying her. She had to leave; she had to escape. The only question was, when.